"Hail Vermont," the Green Mountain State's official song, has struck a sour note with arts officials, who are giving Vermonters a month to pick a new one.

Written to represent the New England state at New York City's 1939 World's Fair, "Hail Vermont" was given another hearing in 1991 for the state's bicentennial.

"But that only gave people a chance to hear it and realize, 'Oh my God, we need a new song,' " Vermont Arts Council Executive Director Alex Aldrich told Reuters. He said the song's marchlike tempo was "appropriate for the late '30s as the gloom of fascism and Depression loomed over us."

The lyrics "were not memorable and nobody could sing it," he said.

Written by Josephine Perry, the song begins: "Hail to Vermont! Lovely Vermont! Hail to Vermont so fearless! Sing we a song! Sing loud and long! To our little state so peerless!"

The song "Green Mountain Waltz" is among the eight finalists the council is considering as a replacement. Its composer, Michael Caduto, said, "They're looking for a song that speaks more to people and the values of Vermont that are consistent over time."

His chorus reads, "When the green leaves of springtime show their face, they sing of the warmer season to come, and the sharp cold winter melts from our hearts in the rays of vernal sun."

Recordings of the songs can be heard on Vermont Public Radio and over the Internet at the Vermont Arts Council Web site, www.state.vt.us/vermont-arts/.

Votes can be lodged by calling the council starting Monday.